A Word from Adam

January

2018

 

Dear Friends,

Happy New Year!  Thank you for partnering with us in 2017 and I consider it a tremendous privilege to continue together with you in this New Year and beyond.  God allowed us to work with over 4,800 young people in 2017. Please read this firsthand experience written by Charles Wallis, JJM Staff member, about a typical weekly visit in an institution.

 

Another Thursday night in juvenile prison, also known as Camp Onizuka, were some of the most serious juvenile criminals – mostly gang affiliated - are kept. Right before I enter the door, a minor is sitting outside with a guard and asks if we are having Bible study. I tell him yes.

The unit is divided into half, so I go to one side first. I sit for several minutes watching two wards playing “Call of Duty” wondering if they realize real war is not really like that.  Another pair is playing “Madden Football,” maybe trying to live another fantasy. 

I walk through the bunk areas, hand out some candy, and talk to boys about God, faith, and life.  One boy asks me if it’s hard to get people to change in here.  I tell him it does not happen overnight and give him some spiritual material.

I am about to walk out and remember the boy who was outside.  I turn around to see him standing with some staff. I ask if he’d like to talk. He says he is getting out soon and wants to be forgiven by God for his sins.  We talk about salvation. I asked him how he got in some much trouble, he says, “Screwed up parents.” His mom is in prison for attempted murder.  He just met her a year ago.  His dad sells drugs and is in and out of jail. He grew up in foster care and group homes.  He has no family.  But he has a 9-month-old baby in foster care.  The baby’s mom is also in serious trouble. He had a look of hopelessness in his eyes, as if his life would soon end.  

I grab his hand and held it tight.  We prayed together.  We prayed for forgiveness and salvation.  We prayed for him and his family.  Looking straight into his eyes, I told him that he is now part of God’s family – my family.  I told him that I would help him when he got out to find good people and a good place to be.

 

We go to the tough places where kids are and share the life changing message of the Gospel.

 

     We get to do this!

     

      Adam Capehart

     Executive Director